Windows 7 Backup gets users' backs up

Worst. Thing. Ever.


System image workaround

Fok posted again on the forum thread on Christmas Eve, 2009, saying: "Thanks for all the comments and responses regarding the performance on Windows Backup. The issue has been identified to occur on systems with large data set size. Please refer to the following post for further details and workaround."

The Technet post starts: "Windows Backup is optimised to help home users protect their important data on their PCs and this is typically expected to be 200GB of data on average. On a PC that contains significantly larger data size, Windows Backup’s performance may degrade. If you need to back up more than 400GB of data, we recommend that you backup your PC using a system image."

It then provides details on how to run a system image backup. Windows 7 renamed the Complete PC Backup feature of Windows Vista to System Image in Windows 7, and this confused and irritated users. The System Image backup process doesn't display a progress bar as the Windows Backup facility does, which further annoys users.

Also, SriramB said system image backup "is meant for a one-time/infrequent use to take a backup of the system volumes plus other volumes you are interested in. The scheduled backup is what is meant for taking automatic/regular backups of your valuable data."

This recommendation to use system image backup did not damp down the furore on the thread; it continued unabated. Rei Miyasaka posted on October 12, 2009: "VHD backup is a great technology, but the UI made it very awkward in Windows Vista, and the UI made it completely unusable and dangerous in Windows 7. With all due respect, you people are not doing your job right. At all."

He also said: "System image is still excruciatingly slow, and that's not doing compression. System image took only a few hours on Windows Vista with the same amount of data. Now it takes a day."

Poster Donny wrote: "System image cannot solve my problems because I don't want to backup entire C:\ drive as often as I want to back up my other data (once a week)," and it can't do an incremental backup."

What the users want is a proper fix and not a workaround.

It has not been forthcoming. On January 9, 2010, Stuardad posted:

Windows 7 Backup IS A DISASTER. Now, it is time to stop trying to find workarounds. When is the Product Manager from Microsoft who is accountable for the Windows 7 Backup Program going to address this? Who at Microsoft is accountable for this? It is not acceptable that Windows users have had a Windows backup solution that worked until Windows 7 and nobody from Microsoft is fessing up to accountability for this.

My name is Stuart Curley. I am the Chief Technical Architect at Royal Mail and I find this unacceptable.

He posted again on February 10, addressing Christine Fok directly:

Hi Christine

… It is now 6 months since this problem was raised on this forum. You acknowledged almost 4 months later that this problem was real. Windows 7 has been in RTM and Beta for much longer and either your team never did any load testing on the new Backup solution or Microsoft decided to let it out of the gate knowing the problem. So, please, when is Microsoft going to own up that this is a problem that needs to be fixed by Microsoft and when will a patch be released.

Please be straight with us.

As of the last post on the thread, dated June 19, ten months after the problem was first highlighted, Microsoft has still not offered any response other than the system image workaround. Poster CodeSlinger wrote: "Windows 7 backup is a total piece of ____ because it is way too slow! Your excuses are totally pathetic and disgusting. Just fix the damn thing!!!" ®


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